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Comment Re:Fingerprints are Hashable (Score 1) 242

Not only CAN there be, there MUST be. If there is absolutely no invariant whatsoever, then there is no way to explictly distinguish between two fingerprints that match or don't match. The phrase "small errors" implies a distinction between variations that are truly part of the data and variations that are part of the "error".

Comment Re:Fingerprints are Hashable (Score 1) 242

You can't eliminate all variations.

Sure you can. Unless the detction algorithm accepts every potential fingerprint is presented, there is implictly some invariant feature of the fingerprint that is being used to make the decision. Eliminate everything but that invariant during pre-processesing and you have something you can hash on.

At some point you'll have to check whether fabs(x,y)

Quantize x and y.

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 1) 284

During WWII, US Census data was used to identify Japanese citizens to be rounded up an placed in camps. We also no that it's been used since 9/11 to keep tabs on "suspicious individuals".

No one knows what the government will be like in the future, and questions that seem harmless now may end up being used to hang you later.

Comment It's Not and All or None Question (Score 1) 568

Some people working on software development are rightly considered engineers, some are just programmers.

The people Ian Bagost works with are almost certainly just programmers. They people developing flight control software for Boeing, on the other hand, are almost certainly engineers.

The distinction is is the level of rigor in the design, coding, and testing being applied.

Comment In Store Pickup (Score 3, Funny) 203

Walmart is building vast new fulfillment centers and is rapidly enhancing its delivery capabilities to take advantage of its extensive store network to provide convenient in-store pickup and adds that 70 percent of the American population lives within five miles of a Walmart store.

I'm not sure having to pick up your delivery in person at a Walmart is quite the benefit Walmart thinks it is. The old joke about Target being the store for people who are willing to pay more to avoid being around Walmart customers exists for a reason.

Comment Re:easy (Score 1) 93

No, it's really more like:

1. Criminal wants to access fingerprint-based facility
2. Criminal bashes hole in door, eliminating need for fingerprints

The only reason you need the fingerprints is if you want to be able to enter surreptitously, which you're obviously not worried about once you get to the "cutting off people's fingers" stage.

Comment Tax Policy Problem (Score 1) 940

It's a result of the fact that most local government services are paid for predominately with property taxes.

When costs scale with the number of people and revenue doesn't, it's inevitable that zoning will end up discouraging new residential construction, particularly high density residential contruction.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.